LIHU‘E — The Kaua‘i Chamber of Commerce in partnership with the Kaua‘i Visitors Bureau the Kaua‘i Chapter of the Hawai‘i Lodging and Tourism Association created an opportunity for small businesses to reach visitors directly through their new Kokua Card program and the chamber is now accepting applications from now until Mar. 29.
The Kokua Card, containing discounts and promotional offers from Kaua‘i businesses, will be presented to each visitor who agrees to take a voluntary second COVID test three days post-arrival once Kaua‘i re-enters the Safe Travels Program on April 5.
“We are grateful that several of our lodging members have agreed to offer and encourage the voluntary second test to their guests at the request of Mayor Kawakami,” said Marc Bennor, President of HLTA-Kaua‘i.
The Kokua Card will feature a QR code that links to a webpage featuring the various discounts and incentives offered by Kaua‘i businesses.
“We’ve worked hard to make this program as user-friendly as possible to allow the visitor easy access to participating businesses,” said Mark Perriello, President &CEO of the Kaua‘i Chamber. “Giving a jump-start to the business community is absolutely critical as we begin the economic recovery process.”
Perriello stressed that it is important to have a wide range of offers available through the program to entice visitors to take the voluntary second test. “It is absolutely free for participating businesses to sign up for the Kokua Card. We hope that many businesses will jump on board.”
“It’s been a long road getting to this point,” said Sue Kanoho, executive director of the Kaua‘i Visitors Bureau. “We appreciate the Mayor’s leadership, and the many partners coming together to ensure the health and safety of our community is protected while our businesses get back up on their feet.”
Kanoho said the chamber was brainstorming on how to help with the second voluntary test, when Beth Tokioka, KIUC’s communication manager and a member of the chamber suggested the idea and thought it would be a good way to support local businesses and thank those giving the added layer of protection with the second test.
“I was just searching for a way to meet the needs of businesses while acknowledging the valid health concerns of our community by offering a second voluntary test,” Tokioka said. “I knew that it would be hard to entice a visitor to volunteer to take a second test. There’s much risk involved because if the test is positive you’ve got to quarantine. So I thought: what would be an incentive to take the test and also act as a ‘mahalo’ for the visitor who agrees to do it?
“The added bonus is that the card benefits the businesses who participate because it gives them extra visibility and hopefully drives new customers to them. Simple concept- but not so simple to bring to life. Great credit goes to Mark, Sue, and all involved for making it happen.”
According to Sue Kanoho, planning has been underway for the past few weeks and the launch date of the Kokua Card program will be on Apr. 5, the same day as the safe travel program for Kaua‘i.
Business that want to get involved can fill out an application, with details on what discounts or deals they’d like to provide.
Those interested in participating in the Kokua Card program can sign up now via the Chamber’s website: kauaichamber.org/kokuacard.